Have you ever watched movies you loved as a kid as an adult and thought, “What the hell were those people thinking?” Of course you have. So many of our beloved childhood films had plotlines that we took as a given when we were younger, only to look back on them as an adult and think, “Wait… what?” So many older (and, to be honest, current) movies are filled with terrible parenting advice. It’s a shock that none of the nosy neighbors called child protective services on these fictitious families.
Of course, movies aren’t meant to be serious. Many films are lighthearted and meant to poke fun at the ridiculous situations parents often find themselves in. But a select few are larger reflections of harmful societal stereotypes, like the overprotective fathers who threaten their daughter’s dates with shotguns. Serious or silly, it’s fun to look back and imagine what kind of parenting advice our favorite childhood movies were actually offering and what would happen if anyone actually took that advice to heart. Here is some of the most implausible parenting advice from the movies we loved as a kid.
1. The Best Way To Handle A Divorce If You Have Twins Is To Split Them Up
They made this movie not just once but twice. I personally like the 1961 version of The Parent Trap better than the one with twin Lohans.
2. The Only Way To Raise A Truly Exceptional Child Is To Make Them An Only Child
At least, according to Parenthood. Though, as someone who has a brother three years younger than me, I might disagree with that statement.
3. A Father Must Give Permission For His Daughter To Get Married
Father of the Bride is not nearly as cute as it’s made out to be, and is in fact a reflection of the harmful patriarchal dynamics that make fathers think they have some sort of ownership over their daughters.
4. Leaving Your Kid At Home When You Go On A Christmas Vacation Is Just A Thing That Happens Sometimes
If you leave for family vacation without noticing that one of your kids is missing, I think that’s a sign that you have too many children.
5. Telling Your Kid To Join The Dark Side Always Works Out
And he refuses, you chop off his hand with a light saber. Granted, Darth Vader isn’t exactly a model parent by any stretch of the imagination.
6. Shrinking The Kids Is Reasonable & OK
I mean, who hasn’t fantasized about a real-life version of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids?
7. If You're a Man, Dress As a Woman To Win Back the Hearts of Your Scorned Wife & Kids
If you watch Mrs. Doubtfire as an adult, you will see what a terrifying, abusive, awful movie it truly is.
8. Beating Children Over Wire Hangers (Or, At All) Is Acceptable
Joan Crawford appeared to be a frightening Mommie Dearest.